Winnipeg entrepreneurs and community groups are working in their own ways to re-define what you can have delivered to your door in the city.
For Anneliese Schoppe that means bringing eggs, meat and consciousness to her customers each week by bike – regardless of the weather.
“Lately, in the winter, I’ve gotten accustomed to putting them [the eggs] down my jacket. It keeps them from breaking, and it’s very mother hen-like, now that I think about it,” Schoppe said with a laugh.
The 21-year-old, known as the “Egg Lady” at parties, has been direct marketing products from her family’s farm in Poplar Point, Man. since last fall. A dozen free-range eggs costs $4 and a pound of grass-fed lean ground beef costs $5.
Shoppe delivers to around seven regular families and a handful of new clients each week. Most hear about her by word of mouth.
Schoppe hopes to bring customers a sense of where their food comes from.
“We think it’s important to have a lot of honesty and openness about how we do things so people can ask questions,” she said.
Linking people to their produce is a concept that the West Broadway Development Corporation (WBDC) has embraced in the form of the Good Food Club.
With 258 low-income members, the Good Food Club offers the chance to work on a community plot of land outside the city to grow and harvest vegetables during summer months for weekly farmer’s markets and community dinners.
For every hour spent volunteering in the garden, 10 “sweat-equity” points are earned. These points can be put toward Good Food Boxes containing fruits and vegetables, as well as grain and protein components. They are delivered to approximately 35 participants each month between November and May.
At $25 for a large version and $15 for a small, the concept has multiple benefits according to WBDC executive director Molly McCracken.
“People want to be involved in food from harvesting, to preparing, to serving. It feels good to be close to that cycle,” she said.
But not every food delivery service in the city exists to promote healthy eating. Some exist simply to provide customers with convenience.
For Winnipeggers wanting a late-night snack but not wanting to leave their home, Ryan Dowd will bring almost anything they crave to them.
“People are fascinated by having McDonald’s delivered to them,” he said. “Most of them order it just to see if it actually works.”
Dowd, 34, is the owner of Cravers, an all-night delivery service that provides customers with whatever they need, whether it’s cat food or condoms at 4 a.m.
Open 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and until 9 a.m. on the weekends, Dowd and his fleet of delivery drivers are all on call to pick up food from any restaurant, store or service and deliver it at cost, plus a pro-rated fee of up to $20 depending on the driver’s location at the time.
Helping people avoid DUIs, but also catering to mothers and seniors, Dowd feels he has found a niche service area in the city.
“It’s for when you’re sitting around having a couple drinks and someone wants Burger King, someone else needs cigarettes and another wants ice cream from 7-11,” he said.